Nav: Home

What proportion of cancer deaths are attributable to smoking around the US?

October 24, 2016

The proportion of cancer deaths attributable to cigarette smoking varied across the United States but was highest in the South, where nearly 40 percent of cancer deaths in men were estimated to be connected to smoking in some states, according to a new article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

There are still 40 million current adult cigarette smokers in the U.S. and smoking remains the largest preventable cause of death from cancer and other diseases. Cigarette smoking accounted for an estimated 28.7 percent of all cancer deaths in U.S. adults 35 and older in 2010 but there are no such estimates by states.

Joannie Lortet-Tieulent, M.Sc., of the American Cancer Society, Atlanta, and coauthors estimated the population-attributable fraction of cancer deaths due to cigarette smoking using relative risks for 12 smoking-related cancers and state-specific smoking prevalence data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The study included each U.S. state and the District of Columbia.

The authors estimate:
  • 167,133 cancer deaths in the U.S. in 2014 (28.6 percent of all cancer deaths) were attributable to cigarette smoking.

  • In men, the proportion of cancer deaths attributable to smoking ranged from a low of 21.8 percent in Utah to a high of 39.5 percent in Arkansas, but was at least about 30 percent in every state except Utah.

  • For men, the estimated proportion of smoking-attributable deaths was nearly 40 percent in Arkansas (39.5 percent), Tennessee (38.5 percent), Louisiana (38.5 percent), Kentucky (38.2 percent) and West Virginia (38.2 percent).

  • In women, the proportion ranged from 11.1 percent in Utah to 29 percent in Kentucky and was at least 20 percent in all states except Utah, California and Hawaii.

  • Many of the states with the highest proportion of smoking-attributable cancer deaths were in the South, including 9 of the top 10 ranked states for men and 6 of the top 10 ranked states for women for proportion of smoking-attributable cancer deaths.

The authors explain the higher smoking-attributable cancer mortality in the South is likely due to its higher historic smoking prevalence, which has prevailed in large measure because of weaker tobacco control policies and programs. Some of the least restrictive public smoking policies and most affordable cigarettes are found in the South, the study notes.

Higher smoking-attributable cancer mortality in Southern states also may be due in part to disproportionately high levels of low socioeconomic status, which is associated with higher smoking prevalence. Racial differences in smoking prevalence and population distribution also may account for some of the variability across states, according to the article.

The authors suggest their study likely underestimated death attributable to tobacco use for a number of reasons, including that only 12 cancers were included. Also, self-reported data are known to underestimate smoking prevalence.

"Increasing tobacco control funding, implementing innovative new strategies, and strengthening tobacco control policies and programs, federally and in all states and localities, might further increase smoking cessation, decrease initiation and reduce the future burden of smoking-related cancers," the study concludes.
-end-
(JAMA Intern Med. Published online October 17, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6530. Available pre-embargo to the media at http://media.jamanetwork.com.)

Editor's Note: The article contains funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Cancer Articles:

Radiotherapy for invasive breast cancer increases the risk of second primary lung cancer
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
Cancer genomics continued: Triple negative breast cancer and cancer immunotherapy
Continuing PLOS Medicine's special issue on cancer genomics, Christos Hatzis of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., USA and colleagues describe a new subtype of triple negative breast cancer that may be more amenable to treatment than other cases of this difficult-to-treat disease.
Metabolite that promotes cancer cell transformation and colorectal cancer spread identified
Osaka University researchers revealed that the metabolite D-2-hydroxyglurate (D-2HG) promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition of colorectal cancer cells, leading them to develop features of lower adherence to neighboring cells, increased invasiveness, and greater likelihood of metastatic spread.
UH Cancer Center researcher finds new driver of an aggressive form of brain cancer
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers have identified an essential driver of tumor cell invasion in glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer that can occur at any age.
UH Cancer Center researchers develop algorithm to find precise cancer treatments
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers developed a computational algorithm to analyze 'Big Data' obtained from tumor samples to better understand and treat cancer.
New analytical technology to quantify anti-cancer drugs inside cancer cells
University of Oklahoma researchers will apply a new analytical technology that could ultimately provide a powerful tool for improved treatment of cancer patients in Oklahoma and beyond.
Radiotherapy for lung cancer patients is linked to increased risk of non-cancer deaths
Researchers have found that treating patients who have early stage non-small cell lung cancer with a type of radiotherapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy is associated with a small but increased risk of death from causes other than cancer.
Cancer expert says public health and prevention measures are key to defeating cancer
Is investment in research to develop new treatments the best approach to controlling cancer?
UI Cancer Center, Governors State to address cancer disparities in south suburbs
The University of Illinois Cancer Center and Governors State University have received a joint four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to help both institutions conduct community-based research to reduce cancer-related health disparities in Chicago's south suburbs.
Leading cancer research organizations to host international cancer immunotherapy conference
The Cancer Research Institute, the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy, the European Academy of Tumor Immunology, and the American Association for Cancer Research will join forces to sponsor the first International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York, Sept.

Related Cancer Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Moving Forward
When the life you've built slips out of your grasp, you're often told it's best to move on. But is that true? Instead of forgetting the past, TED speakers describe how we can move forward with it. Guests include writers Nora McInerny and Suleika Jaouad, and human rights advocate Lindy Lou Isonhood.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...